Memoirs and biographies have always been popular genres. There is fascination in someone else's story, whether it's personally relatable or vastly different from one's own life. Biography usually refers to someone famous, while memoir is an unknown person.
As publishers of memoirs in our Tell Your Story series, we have learned a few things to keep in mind as you write your memoir or life story.
Protecting Privacy. Your story will feature other real people, who may or may not want to be named or even written about. But you can't tell an honest, compelling story without them. To avoid libel claims, think about changing names, which means you have to keep track of everyone with a table or spreadsheet. Or write the story with the real names, and go back and change them all before it's published. Either way, you'll need a system to keep track of who's who.
Permissions. Getting permission from everyone in your story is ideal, but that's not always desirable or possible. It's best to keep them unrecognizable, change the names, and not say anything in the book about them that isn't true and isn't derogatory. You may need legal advice if you're not sure if you're being libelous.
Decide whether to use pictures. You should get permission from anyone in a picture before using it, as well as permission from any professional photographers, and give them credit.
Poems, songs or other quotes should be thoroughly cited and permission granted, unless in the public domain. Internet and website searches usually give you this information, or your editor can help direct you.
Book Structure. Plan out your structure in advance, such as time sequencing. Will the book jump among several time periods, or tell the story from beginning to end? Book coaches and developmental editors can help with this.
Purpose. What is the purpose of telling your story? For your own catharsis? To leave a legacy? To help or inspire others in similar situations? To make money or create a platform and name for yourself or a related business or cause? It will help to know your purpose before you start writing and marketing the book.
We are here to answer any questions about memoir writing and publishing.
Patty and Lonnie
Congratulations to author and speaker Todd Morrison on writing and publishing his memoir, A Profound Mercy: Finding Redemption in the Despair of Our Own Doing.
Todd grew up as a missionary kid in Copenhagen, Denmark. Then his family unraveled; his parents abandoned him; his father came out as gay; he became a high-end cocaine dealer; and nearly lost everything to addiction. Todd has found unexpected mercy in the depths of despair, every time. He has written his story with a personal, compelling voice that will give anyone hope.
The cover was designed by Rachel Ronan of Kiwi Creative and Todd's book is part of our Tell Your Story series. Let us know if you'd like to write the story of your life or the founding of your business or company.
by Patty Pacelli
You've finished your book manuscript! Fantastic! Now what? You probably know you need some type of editing, but do you know about the 3 main types of editing, and what they mean? The following descriptions of Developmental Editing, Copy/Line Editing, and Proofreading will help you get started in finding the best editor for you.
Developmental Editors look at the big picture. This is most commonly used in fiction. The editor will look for any flaws or inconsistencies in characters and their development, check facts, look for plot holes or things that just don't work or make sense. They will look for anachronisms, such as a mention of a specific building that didn't exist at the time the story takes place, or types of clothing, household gadgets, technology, or other things that are out of place. For example, a woman putting on pantyhose before 1959 when they became available.
The editor will look at how the manuscript connects with its intended audience, and the language use, whether it's too casual, too formal, not fitting with the characters, etc. They will give feedback about book structure, including how it is divided into chapters, and how time and location jumps are done.
The editor might not mark on the manuscript during this phase, but will provide a report or letter giving overall feedback and findings. It's best if this is the first step in the process,
Copy or Line Editing - The editor reads the manuscript line by line and makes changes as they go in punctuation, capitalization, grammar usage and wording. They will make the manuscript grammatically correct and consistent in formatting. Books, blog posts, articles and social media posts can benefit from this type of editing, and it is a must for a published book. A good editor will maintain the author's voice and personality while improving clarity and re-wording phrases for better flow. Consistency is important too.
The editor should always be asking the question, "Does this make sense?" If it doesn't make sense to the editor, it probably won't to the readers. The editor should use one dictionary edition and one style guide, such as Chicago Manual of Style, for grammar rules. They should use some form of tracking, such as "Track Changes" in Microsoft Word, so you can see all changes. Remember, any changes are given to you as suggestions, and you can "Accept" each change, or discuss it with the editor.
This is the last step and should be done by someone with good language skills, but preferably not the same person as your line editor or developmental editor. They should be proofing a final PDF or hard copy, and looking for consistency and correctness in all aspects of the finished product. Reading out loud or using a ruler to focus on each line are good proofreading techniques.
Any editor will naturally overlap into all three areas, but should focus on what you are asking for at each stage of your project. It's fine if a copy editor notices something that needs to be changed that a developmental editor would normally catch.
Most cities have Editor Guilds or Associations, such as Northwest Editors Guild here in the Seattle area. They have lists of editors to contact who do different types of editing for various written work.
We are happy to answer any questions about editing your work and can help you find the right editor for your project. Contact Patty at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions on writing, editing or publishing.
Congratulations to Randy Step for writing and publishing his book, Get Your Butt Out the Door: A 365-Day Motivational Runner's Companion! This book will do just that--make your daily run happen, whether you're an Olympic athlete or just trying to break a sweat.
For each day of the year you'll find a paragraph of motivation, inspiration and education to get out the door. Randy practices what he preaches and is an admitted obsessed runner who has run more than 70 marathons, including several at Boston. He founded a 9-Store Running Fit group, and produced 27 running events in 2019 with RF Events. He lives near Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Kathy.
Our 4th book in the "Tell Your Story" series is My Life on the Autism Spectrum, by Tracey Cohen. Tracey has written two other books with us, Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome and Six-Word Lessons on the Sport of Running.
We thoroughly enjoyed working with Tracey on this book that tells her inspiring life story of a difficult childhood of misunderstandings and not being properly diagnosed until age 39. The book is brave and honest, and a fascinating read that will help anyone gain a much better understanding of the autism spectrum, especially in girls and women.
We hope you have managed well during the pandemic and are staying healthy and safe. We are thankful to have been minimally impacted in our business and personal lives and wish you the best in health as we navigate through this season--however long it lasts!
We are here to help with any writing, editing or publishing questions or services you need.
We are proud to announce the publication of When Hope Is Not Enough: A 30-Year Journey of Faith & Community, the story of Vision House, a local nonprofit that provides transitional housing and services for families experiencing homelessness in the Puget Sound area. It is an inspiring story of a couple whose compassion for those facing homelessness 30 years ago led to apartments that house families, childcare centers and other services that have changed the lives of thousands of people.
The book is part of Pacelli Publishing’s Tell Your Story series and was written by Lynn Bohart and the Vision House staff.
If you or someone you know would like to leave a legacy and tell their story about their personal life or company, let us know and we can help you to get our story out into the world.
Reach out to Patty or Lonnie for more information. We would love to help you with your writing and publishing!
We are happy to welcome our 51st book in the Six-Word Lessons series, Six-Word Lessons on HR Practices for a Productive Workforce. The author, Juli Bacon, is a nationally-recognized speaker and the president of JB Consulting Systems. Juli and her team assist their clients in overcoming the challenges of workforce development and human resources. The book has quick and effective tips for a professional approach to recruiting, managing and retaining employees.
Every organization has a story of how they began and continue to thrive. Pacelli Publishing is offering an opportunity for nonprofits and other businesses to write their company history in a book for donors, prospective employees, or others. We hope to give many organizations an easy way to get their story out with our new book series.
It's called the Tell Your Story series, and we are writing the first book about our Six-Word Lessons series as an example and "template" to make it easy for other companies to tell their story. Contact us here if you want to learn more.
Thank you to those who came to our Author Appreciation Party! Everyone had a wonderful time and it was great to spend some time together in person. Our authors are warm, professional, quality individuals, and we appreciate each of you so much.
This week we published the 49th book in the Six-Word Lessons series, written by Rae Ann Hall, mindset coach and founder of Forward Principles. Her book, Six-Word Lessons for a Growth Mindset, contains 100 lessons for building a growth mindset to access inner strength and manage emotions to lead to positive personal growth and results in life. Rae Ann also wrote Six-Word Lessons to Overcome Abuse and Adversity. We enjoyed working with Rae Ann and congratulate her on writing her second book!
If you or anyone you know is interested in writing and publishing a book in the series, or have questions about publishing any type of book, please contact us at email@example.com.
Congratulations to David George Brooke, the author of our 48th Six-Word Lessons book! David has been a speaker, teacher, life coach, and bestselling author for over 25 years. He is a former award-winning Nordstrom Manager and has managed operations in the corporate world for over 40 years. He specializes in teaching people the benefits of living a life of gratitude, and specifically the advantages of using a daily gratitude journal.
His book, Six-Word Lessons to Embrace Gratitude, helps anyone learn to live a daily life with more gratitude, with specific lessons and examples from David's life. Learn more about David at ThatGratitudeGuy.com
Free Book Marketing Class June 9
We will be attending a free book marketing class sponsored by the Seattle area Author's Guild, and would like to invite you to join us.
Learn marketing from a pro who's written the book on it—consultant, Authors Guild member, former literary agent and marketing director Beth Jusino. Beth will teach a class, live and in person, at the University branch of the Seattle Public Library. For more information and to RSVP, click here.
Practical, Personal Book Marketing
Sunday, June 9, 1:45 - 4:30 pm
Seattle Public Library
5009 Roosevelt Avenue NE
Seattle WA 98105
Our 47th book in the Six-Word Lessons series is written by Amy Getter, a palliative care and hospice nurse with over 30 years of experience. In this book she shares 100 tips for those involved with the difficult events surrounding the death of yourself or a loved one. Six-Word Lessons to Prepare for Dying is a valuable tool with helpful advice for anyone going through something that all will experience at some point.
We are proud to announce our first fiction novel by Lonnie Pacelli, The Lawless One and the End of Time. In the year 2030, four teenagers in Italy grow up to make their marks on the world, one being revealed as the Antichrist. Cover designed by Rachel Ronan of Kiwi Creative, on paperback and kindle on Amazon.com.
Find supplemental material and learn more about the Biblical end times at LawlessOne.com and watch for an invitation to Lonnie's book launch party!
Posts about our latest books and hints and tips for authors and writers about self-publishing, writing and marketing your book.